Saturday, 31 May 2014

Akira (1988) Film 10 of the Allen and Anime Marathon

Directed by: Katushiro Otomo

Animation, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
124 Minutes

I re-watched this after two years, and I was blown away again. The Blu-ray update looked even better, and the audio was simply brilliant! On a visual level Akira will have your eyes wide open; on a story level it will shatter your mind. The high-speed chases, explosions and characters all make Akira the quintessential Anime classic, showing cyberpunk as the sub-genre it is. Akira proves just what can be done with animation, treating it not as a genre; but a whole different level of film.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Japanese Cinema Marathon: Summer Marathon 3#

The Hidden Fortress
To explore more of Akira Kurosawa's films I thought I would begin to look at more Japanese films, both old and new.  Yoshiro Ozu and Masaki Kobayashi are two directors who are new to me and I look forward to seeing their films. Below, is a link to where I will be reviewing the films, and the list of films in this marathon.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Edward Scisorhands (1990) A Walk in American Suburbia

Directed by: Tim Burton
Drama, Fantasy
110 Minutes

Originaly written 2013 on Letterboxd

I really do have a soft spot for this film and I don't care anymore what people say. I really find this film beautiful, and perhaps it is because of how it has grew on me I cannot see any flaws in it. It is one of my cinema experiences that brought me closer to how beautiful cinema was when I was about 13-14 years old. I have seen it about 5 or 6 times since. I love everything. The expressionistic style, the classic Frankenstein-like story, the touching Danny Elfman musical score and the truly fascinating performance from Johnny Depp. It is here we see one of Depp's first best performances, and the start of what is now a long friendship between director and actor.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The 70's Marathon in Review!

The 70's brought many great movies and many directors making brilliant films. Not just Scorsese and Coppola, but Altman, Lumet, Fosse and Herzog too. There are still more for me to see such as Scenes from a Marriage, Dawn of the Dead and Amarcord, but it is good to still have more to look forward to.

Friday, 16 May 2014

The Deer Hunter (1978) 70's Marathon 20#

Directed by: Michael Cimino
Drama, War
178 Minutes

It was challenging to recuperate my feelings after watching this film. I was left speechless when the credits came on. The journey, the story, the people; I found it extremely moving and heart-wrenching at times. The script is brilliant, and Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, Robert Savage, Meryl Streep and John Savage all give mesmerising performance filling the screen with emotional authenticity. This great Vietnam War-period film went on to win 5 Oscars including Best Director and Picture.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Don’t Look Now (1973) 70's Marathon 19#

Directed by: Nicolas Roeg 
110 Minutes
Horror, Thriller

After reading people’s reviews and thoughts on this film, I was enthused about watching it and was expecting to see something truly chilling and tense. I must say I am a little underwhelmed, but Don’t Look Now is not a bad film. Nicolas Roeg’s editing is experimental, and the story unfolds in a unique fashion. His film has a distinct atmosphere similar to what he done with The Man Who Fell to Earth, but I found the film to be a little boring rather than chilling at times.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Fritz the Cat (1972) 70's Marathon 18#

Directed, Written & Produced by: Ralph Bakshi
Animated, Comedy (Not for kids!)
77 minutes

I came across this film whilst watching on TV the "100 greatest cartoons". This was number 56, and struckme as wild, controversial and very different. This was a correct presumption. It has just about everything for someone to be offended at but it has a unique charm to it. Impressively, it’s the first X-Rated animated feature film, so it obviously endorsed a new breed of films of this kind. Director and screenplay writer of the film Ralph Bakshi got quite some controversy over the creation of this film, and today the film is considered a piece of art. Art you could say yes, but pretty raunchy art.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Love and Death (1975) 70's Marathon 17#

Directed by: Woody Allen
85 Minutes

Here is another early Woody Allen film, showing his comedic roots. Films like Bananas and Sleeper show many elements of a silent comedy, and feel more like a series of skits than a full movie. Nevertheless, this structure works, and Love and Death provides some hilarious moments, amongst its filmic references to Monty Python, Marx Brothers and Ingmar Bergman.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Papillon (1973) 70's Marathon 16#

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
Drama, Biography, Crime
146 Minutes

Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman star in this gritty prison film. The drama is excellent and you really get to feel for McQueen’s character as the film goes on due to the brilliant performance he brings to the film. I found the film had a weak last 30 or so minutes, but the film is a look at a friendship of longing and the desire to live on. The film will definitely leave you with feeling and is an excellent 70’s film that was adapted from the autobiography by Henri CharriĆ©re, a French Convict.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Nashville (1975) 70's Marathon 15#

Directed by: Robert Altman

168 Minutes
Drama, Romance, Musical, Comedy

There are not many films like it before its time, and not very many afterwards. Robert Altman’s large and ambitious story set in the music scene of Nashville has a wide array of characters, and detail that would certainly take many viewings to soak up. With a host of over what would be 20 ‘main’ characters, its satire of folk music and politics are still identified with, and Nashville is regarded as one of the greatest films from the 70’s. Your also in for a musical treat with this one, for it is packed with songs.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Dark Star (1974) 70's Marathon 14#

Directed by John Carpenter

Sci-Fi, Comedy
83 Minutes

It's cheap, it's funny, it's a Sci-Fi; it is Dark Star. This is perhaps one of the cheapest looking movies I have seen, but that does not necessarily mean it is bad. While not outrageously funny or great, it has its moments. Dark Star is somewhat of a cult film today for it's cheap sets, corny acting but most of all satirising Sci-Fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey which will be clear to any fans of that film. From John Carpenter, the director of films like The Thing and Halloween, this is a fun voyage.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Wicker Man (1973) 70's Marathon 13#

Directed by Robert Hardy
86/87 minutes (Theatrical Cut)
Horror, Cult Film
1st Viewing- the Theatrical Cut (Original Cut)
I have seen many horror films, cult films and downright weird stuff from Pink Flamingos to Hausu- but The Wicker Man seems to stand as a film like no other. The Wicker Man is truly a unique movie gives an eerie and chilling atmosphere that takes you on a hypnotic voyage into the remote Island where a pagan cult remains. I ensured to outline this was my first viewing and of the ‘original cut’. This site explains very well about the different versions of the film, which can be confusing as to choosing which to watch first. I will be watching the other versions of the film in due time.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Badlands (1973) 70's Marathon 12#

Directed by: Terrence Mallick
Crime, Drama, Romance
94 Minutes


Terrence Malick has one of the most interesting careers in filmmaking, with only 5 feature films to his directorial name in 4 decades. Badlands is his first feature film, and what a debut it is. Badlands is audacious in its story and character, exploring the mentality of Kit (Martin Sheen) and the impressionable Holly (Sissy Spacek). Rarely does a film show murders and killings without any real meaning or motive, and here Malick makes us look at the psychopathic nature of Kit as the story unfolds. Badlands is truly one of the greats from the 70’s, but the emotional void is off-putting to an extent.

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